The Ultimate Rollerball Pen Guide

The rollerball is the quintessential pen for the smoothest writing experience because of its consistent, pressure-less, liquid ink that provides a smooth handwriting flow. Popularised in the 1970s, a classic rollerball pen is designed for graciousness, precision and convenience with its firm, comfortable grip and instantaneous ink flow. Just like ballpoints, rollerball pens get their name from a small rotating ball at its top that dispenses ink, however, rather than oil-based ink, rollerballs use thin water or gel-based ink.

The rollerball’s water/gel-based ink provides a sweet, silky feel on paper, producing evocative lines that are thicker and bolder than most ballpoints. Perfect for handwritten notes, thicker paper and cards.

What makes a rollerball pen unique?

Unlike traditional ballpoint pens which use oil-based ink, rollerball pens are built to suit liquid/gel-based ink which have a thinner viscosity, flowing faster and therefore provide a smoother, vivid writing experience. As a result, rollerball pens require little-to-no pressure when pressed on paper. The tip of a rollerball pen is a small ball that rolls as you write, immediately spreading the ink as soon as it touches paper. Considering the quicker inflow of ink, writing with a rollerball pen is completely seamless and soft.

Unlike other utensils because of their fluidity, rollerball inks are clear and bold, typically available in a wide variety of colours like red, blue, purple, black etc.

Difference between a rollerball, ballpoint and fountain pen

Fountain pens are known for their sleekness and unique ink type. Ballpoint pens are known for their precision and convenience. Rollerball pens are seen as the perfect hybrid between the two - sleek and convenient utilising a water/gel-based ink.

Limitations of rollerball:

While rollerball pens are precise and convenient - great for faster handwriting, they do have a few limitations. Unlike ballpoint refills which are designed with a longer life span, rollerball refills have a shorter life cycle and require more periodic refills - you may need to carry spare refills to ensure you have enough ink for your writing.

In addition, unlike ballpoint pens which use oil-based ink that drys on paper instantaneously, rollerball pens use water/gel-based ink that can smudge fairly easily in the moments after writing. This can be especially difficult for left-handed writers when their hand may slightly pass over, smudging the ink. You may have to wait for the ink to dry before you can resume. 

Moreover, considering that rollerball pens produce more vivid and bold lines, if pressed down with an excessive amount of pressure, the ink may bleed through the pages, disturbing your writing.

Types of rollerball pens: 

We provide many sleek, reliable rollerball pens from premium designer brands such as Parker, Cross and Waterman, each contributing to a smooth, fluid writing experience. If you’re looking for the best rollerball at an affordable price, we recommend the classic Cross Beverly collection - each Beverly pen can be personalised with a meaningful engraving like a name or small heartfelt message. 

  • Parker IM

  • Parker Jotter Originals

  • Franklin Covey by Cross

  • Parker Sonnet

  • Cross Century II Medalist

  • Waterman Allure

  • Waterman Hemisphere

  • Sheaffer VFM

  • Cross Bailey

  • Cross Edge

  • Personalised Engraved

  • Otto Hutt

  • Parker IM Premium

  • Cross Townsend

  • Waldmann Chess

Many more extensive rollerball collections are available from our store, including the Sheaffer VFM range which is a pocket friendly, sleek and stylish, yet inexpensive rollerball pen. One of the best luxury rollerball pens is the Cross Townsend 23ct Gold Plated rollerball, which has been used by US presidents to sign legislation including Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Cross rollerball pens are brilliant executive pens because of their weighted luxury feel, high functionality and exceptional writing style.

Image by Glenn Carstens-Peters

How do I choose the right rollerball pen?


Among our ample range of quality, premium rollerball pens to choose between, there are many factors to consider to suit your specific utensil needs, whether that be size, weight, colour, material, barrel, comfort, ink etc. Finding the right rollerball is a completely personal experience, below is a collection of rollerball pens that are top sellers on our market.


Image by Isaac Smith

Parker IM

Highly professional and polished, the Parker IM rollerball is an ideal partner, utilised with a smooth writing tip and a Parker Quink ink. The Parker IM has a tapered silhouette for ergonomic writing, finished with classic brushed metal and gleaming gold trims. The rollerball is complete with a luxury, redesigned Parker gift box and writes in black ink.
Parker IM RB.jpg

Parker Jotter Originals

Iconic and brightly coloured since 1954, the Parker Jotter Original is a staple range that has built up a profound reputation among both writers and doodlers alike. The Parker Jotter Originals rollerball has a stainless steel cap that is paired with a glossy, colourful barrel. The revamped Parker Jotter is perfect for using every day or for giving as a gift on those special moments and occasions. Perfectly pocket-sized, this Parker Jotter Original can also be engraved for a truly personalised gift. The rollerball takes Medium Quink Parker refills and writes in black ink.
Parker Jotter OG RB.jpg

Franklin Covey Lexington

Combining classic styling and craftsmanship, the Lexington collection from Franklin Covey by Cross is sure to get attention with its smart, sleek design. Perfect for special occasions or business gifts, the Lexington utilises classic colour and material combinations - it has a lustrous chrome body complimented by gold fittings. The rollerball can be engraved for a truly personalised gift and writes in black ink.
Franklin Covey RB.jpg

Cross Century II Medalist

The perfect mix of tradition and progression, the Cross Century II Medalist rollerball is a new take on the iconic Cross Classic Century collection, featuring a broader profile and a bold, modern look. Each Cross rollerball pen has been crafted to the highest standard, finished in a high sheen chrome with delicately lined detailing and lavish gold-plated appointments. An engraved Cross Century II can make a wonderful gift, ideal for adding your own personal touch.
Cross Century II RB.jpg

How do I refill my rollerball pen?

Considering rollerball pens have a shorter life span than other utensils, you will be refilling your rollerball frequently. To do so, hold the rollerball pen horizontally, unscrew the body from the holding section, remove the plastic cap from the refill. Insert the refill into the holding section and push through so you can see the tip. Screw the body back to the holding section. 

Waterman Allure

Cultivated through a new collection inspired by current trends of pastel and camouflage tones, the Waterman Allure stands out from the crowd. From its barrel to its cap, the pen has a brass coating with lacquer and matte varnish. Its bold and stylish finishes elevate your style and everyday writing experience. This premium everyday pen is your first step into fine writing. Packaged in a Waterman Gift Box, the rollerball writes in black ink.
Waterman Allure RB.jpg

Sheaffer VFM

The beloved Sheaffer Vibrant, Fun, and Modern has experienced a modern-day makeover with a new polished chrome finish and a stylish tapered silhouette. Each VFM features the iconic Sheaffer white dot, a symbol synonymous with writing excellence since the brand’s conception in the early 1900s. The pen writes with flawless, smooth black ink.
Sheaffer VFM.jpg

Cross Bailey

Sophisticated and classic-looking yet with an affordable price tag, the Bailey collection from Cross is filled with glossy lacquers and polished chrome accompaniments. The Cross Bailey rollerball has a beautifully glossy crimson lacquer with highly polished chrome-plated trims. The rollerball is presented in an attractive presentation box and writes in black.
Cross Bailey RB.jpg

Cross Edge

Designed with innovation and versatility with a modern twist, the Edge range from Cross is ready to write whenever you are. This Capless rollerball slides into action with a new slide and click function brought by Cross. The Edge is highly polished with chrome accents, combining a matte resin for a classically styled pen. The rollerball is presented in an attractive presentation box and writes in black.


Cross Edge RB.jpg

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